Could an MMA-style fight between UFC superstar Conor McGregor and undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather be in the cards? That’s what many in the sports world are trying to find out after what could be described as a tumultuous week for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Regardless of the validity of the speculation, it's a guarantee MMA betting fans want a fight.
McGregor has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately after an embarrassing incident in Brooklyn. Following the conclusion of UFC 223’s media day last weekend, McGregor was videotaped engaging in violent activity towards a bus carrying other fighters. In several videos McGregor and his supposed entourage is shown throwing various objects at the bus which resulted in damage and injuries.
McGregor later turned himself in to police after a warrant for his arrest was issued and is in the midst of resulting legal action. So, why now are there rumors to a follow-up to last year’s heavily publicized Money Fight? For starters, there have been a few indicators of the potential match up including shifting odds with top bookmakers as well as speculative tweets from MMA journalists.
A large amount of buzz was generated at the prospect of the long speculated matchup when Omar Al Raisi appeared to announce the fight was in the works. Al Raisi is the founder of DANTANI Inc., a sports public relations and management company, and sports columnist for The National & Goal.
.@FloydMayweather will fight @TheNotoriousMMA in the octagon. With 4 ounce gloves, no shoes, 5-five minute rounds in 155 division.— Omar Al Raisi (@Dantani) April 8, 2018
No kicks, no take downs, no elbows, no knees. Certain things will be allowed like the clinch. pic.twitter.com/Gmv5koAG00
Al Raisi later backed off of that fantastical claim and clarified that “nothing is approved or signed” and that such a fight is only something that “has been discussed.” UFC President Dana White was pretty quick to shoot down the rumors tweeting a very brunt, some would say vulgar, rebuttal to the speculation raised across social media.
None of that is even close to true. Dumbest shit i have ever heard.— Dana White (@danawhite) April 10, 2018
TMZSports reported that McGregor has been “charged with felony criminal mischief in addition to 3 counts of misdemeanor assault and attempted assault.” In addition McGregor caused $8,000 worth of damage to the bus while injuring three of the passengers. The website elaborated on a potential plea deal that would help McGregor avoid trial and thus leave the door open for a potential Mayweather bout:
"Our law enforcement sources say as of now ... there's a good chance the deal offered will be felony criminal mischief. In other words, prosecutors will make the offer and Conor will have 2 choices ... accept it or go to trial."
Fox Sports host Colin Cowherd elaborated on why he thinks for the first time ever that a McGregor-Mayweather octagon fight is imminent. The sports pundit cited the bizarre state of UFC with its biggest stars either leaving the sport or making negative headlines.
After the world saw Ronda Rousey headline Sunday’s WrestleMania, and the UFC 223 main card change multiple times in the final weeks leading up to the fight, Cowherd’s logic is worth listening to:
“Conor McGregor. You can hate him now. Dana White needs him, and he’s gotta fight somebody. And the UFC, like boxing and wrestling, is as popular as its stars.”
Irish bookmaker Paddy Power won’t let any competitors beat them to the punch whether its speculation or confirmation. The bookie already has odds listed both for McGregor vs. Mayweather’s rematch as well as a highly discussed matchup with UFC 223 main event winner Khabib Nurmagomedov.
McGregor is courting very favourable 1/10 odds against the fish-out-of-water Mayweather who faces an unfamiliar 5/1 underdog role. But Floyd’s past has taught us if the money is right, there’ll most certainly be a fight.
McGregor faces longer, less favourable odds against Khabib who reasserted his UFC lightweight dominance in Saturday night’s pummeling of Al Laquinta. The Irishman is a 5/4 dog to the Russian’s 4/7 odds at becoming the undisputed lightweight champion. If you think the speculation isn't just hype, visit Paddy Power to place a bet!